MEDIA ALERT – Local golfer walking a marathon today while playing golf for First Tee students

Categories: Blog, Donor Information, Parent Information, The First Tee Nine Core Values

Media Alert

Contact: Tyler Smies                                                                                                                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Direct: 616-965-6633,

Local Golfer walking a marathon and golfing 100+ holes along with 100 others to raise money for Charity

What:            Today (September 11th), 14 golfers will participate in a golf marathon to raise funds on behalf of the student participants for First Tee – West Michigan. Today is a part of a multi-week fundraising event, which takes place at 10 different golf courses between August 31 and October 5 to raise money for students on scholarship at First Tee.

Today, Eric Bixler will play in his 6th ever marathon, but this time, he is walking 26.2 miles with his wife Megan while playing more than 100 holes of golf at West Ottawa Golf Course near Holland, MI.  To pledge to his efforts, or give him a per-mile pledge, use this link –

Bixler has been a mentor at First Tee since 2013 and has raised more than $26,000 through the marathon since starting six years ago.  Last year, he played 300 holes of golf!  This year, he’s ramped up his efforts, determined to walk all day until he has walked a marathon (26.2 miles) while playing golf – all for First Tee’s students on scholarship.  Here is a video of how he started his day!

More than 10,000 holes of golf are expected to be played during all the marathon events.   12 marathoners are playing today at West Ottawa Golf Course.

First Tee is a non-profit organization that impacts the lives of young people by teaching values and life skills through the game of golf.  Nearly half of the 1,242 students served in 2019 were on scholarship due to their families’ income. Monies raised from this event will go directly to student scholarships.

Students who participate in The First Tee’s programs are playing in the marathon after their school day, attempting to reach their own goals for holes played.

A leaderboard and pictures will continuously be updated throughout the day on our Facebook page, “First Tee of West Michigan”, on Twitter at @TFTWM, and on Instagram at firstteewestmichigan.  First Tee anticipates raising more than $225,000 through their marathoners’ effort, and marathoners will play as many holes as they are physically capable.

For more information, visit

When:           3:30 p.m. – 8 pm, Friday, September 11th

Tyler Smies, Executive Director of The First Tee, and Eric Bixler, marathoner, will be available for interviews throughout the afternoon. Students will be participating in the marathon beginning at 3:30 pm.

Where:         West Ottawa Golf Course – 5046 136th Ave, Holland MI 49424

Additional First Tee Golf Marathon Schedule:

  • August 31st | Cascade Hills & Stonewater CC | 5 marathoners
  • September 8 | Sunnybrook CC | 2 marathoners
  • September 11 | West Ottawa GC | 12 marathoners, including students
  • September 14 | Muskegon CC | 14 marathoners, including students
  • September 15 | Kent CC | 3 marathoners
  • September 18 | Maple Hill GC | 32 marathoners, including students
  • September 21 | Wuskowhan PC & Lincoln GC | 16 marathoners
  • September 25 | Eastern Hills GC | 14 marathoners
  • September 28 | Watermark CC | 4 marathoners
  • September 30 | Thousand Oaks GC | 3 marathoners
  • October 2 | Indian Trails GC & Railside GC | 6 marathoners, including students
  • October 5 | Egypt Valley CC | 1 marathoner

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